Re-Views, Theater Farts, Unsolicited Solicitations

Not So “Delicate Dis-Balance” of SirGay’s Salty Balls

Last weekend I had quite an event. My friends took me to see a show on Broadway. Oh my goodness, I thought, I am going to see a Broadway show. Like a good boy (in my case a man, I am not trying to kid anyone anymore) I put my fancy pants and went.

Damn it, I knew I needed to have a drink beforehand…

I sensed that there was something wrong with the show as soon as it started. After twenty minutes into the “action,” for some reason, I wanted to storm onto the stage and scream at everyone, like, and what is wrong with all of you people here? But then I realized, I was surrounded by rich white people and the exit was way too far.

Well, darlings, even though I had only thirty five cents in my pocket, I remembered that I am white too, so I blended in. My whiteness saved me from being looked at, like, and what the f*ck are you doing here watching white people talk on a couch for three hours and… oh my gog… they were drinking too.

As soon as I saw by whom I was surrounded, I put my tailbone on my seat, sat on it and patiently watched the whole damn show. I just kept thinking, my friends spent their two day’s paycheck just to have me with them, so I better behave or the next time… well there would be no next time for my tailbone on any Broadway theater’s cushioned seat if I don’t behave.

Being a true (emphasis on “true”) theater artist I kept thinking, is this what you need to put on stage if you want to be on Broadway? I thought that you need to sleep with somebody there to get a part, or… or, wait, is this what you do to get a part in Hollywood? I always mix these two. The feeling that grabbed me by my balls was not the most pleasant. (Disclaimer: SirGay’s more detailed descriptions of events involving his balls, Broadway theater seats and what not were edited out, we decided not to dilute real problems with such descriptions) I just kept thinking, what is it I am watching now? Watching a show that had a bunch of rich white people drinking around a couch and having all these drunk conversations about their, so called, “problems” was kinda… I don’t know… I just don’t know. I kept looking at the audience and the huge chandelier on the stage which probably cost more than five or six shows to mount Off-Broadway, an amount which could pay full salaries to everyone involved with these Off-Broadway shows and still have some leftovers for some Off-Off-Broadway performance to make. The chandelier mesmerized me and then something else happened… (The description about SirGay’s salty sweat dripping down his crotch was edited out. Yes, it involved his balls.)

There is a reason why I want to avoid naming actors involved in the production. Yep, like a real Broadway show there were big names attached to this show. Why have they agreed to be in this production? I don’t know. I didn’t have time to ask them that. I was too busy with my own important busyness of being appalled. I just kept thinking, would the show have the same amount of people sitting in the audience if the show would have been made with less known actors? I asked my friends, if they would see the same show if not for these stars? My friends almost in unison said, no. I knew it. It was another conspiracy against me and my art. (Where do I put my smiley face?)

What bothered me in this show was the absence of enlightenment and inspiration. Pff, no. What bothered me was that the show was built by the rich, for the rich, with the rich actors. And it was, of course, about rich people’s “problems,” like, why can’t I sleep in my room while there are at least fifteen other rooms available in the house? God damn it, I’d take any of them, as long as I don’t pay the rent. Absurd? Ummm… I don’t think they (meaning rich) thought it was absurd. You might say, maybe that was the point of the show, to show how absurd it is to be rich and not to be able to sleep in your room. Ummm… that can’t be true, but then you see the audience of predominantly white and no doubt rich and then you go, and who the f*ck if not white and rich can afford to buy tickets to Broadway shows today? Damn it. How the heck was I excluded from this VIP club? (I think I want to hug my pillow and cry myself to sleep now.)

When you see the audience of old white people in a Broadway theater, that nobody can afford to rent, with the stars, who have as much money as these people in the audience, talk and talk and talk about nothing, you might start thinking that you were abducted and were made to sit and listen how “bad” these rich people have. How absolutely terrifying it is not to know where the coffee beans are in the house, because you’ve never made a cup of coffee yourself before. I kept thinking, maybe at some point actors were going to go into a song or into something more absurd and the set would suddenly change into… well, more exciting than this piece of rich people’s house full of expensive chandeliers and furniture. I kept thinking and why the f*ck am I watching these white rich people drink expensive drinks in their expensive house when I, ze Plastikoff himself, cannot afford the cheapest Port anymore, why? And then it donned on me, I was there to see how Broadway really works. If you are not in the club of these one percent people who own everything, don’t even think to dream to have anything on Broadway. But if that is the supposed dream, I want to wake up. This terrified me more than the last year’s ass contest started by Kim Kay, yes, that’s how you supposed to say, Kim Kay.

Somewhere by the end of act two I started feeling nauseous. I could not take it anymore. The status quo of a poor artist “surviving” in the city was so obvious to me that I… wait, what did I do? Oh, I went to see act three. I understood that my nausea was also provoked by my (description about the state of sweaty balls was edited out).

Suddenly I saw Mr. Albee sitting on his couch and getting drunk to the point of oblivion and saying (maybe to himself), oh you want a play about rich people for rich people? Okay, I am going to give you that. Let me write something while I am still drunk. The play would make no sense to most of poor (who needs them on Broadway anyway?), but would absolutely tickle rich people’s egos. You see, they would say, there is a show on Broadway about us. See how important our problems are. These other (meaning poor) people will never understand what it means to be this filthy rich when you literally can start drinking whenever you like and just keep drinking, because there is nothing else more dramatic to do. And why don’t they (meaning poor) understand how hard our lives are? Thankfully we know how to squeeze fresh orange juice for an early morning drink. Screw you all, I am having a screwdriver now…

I am afraid my dear darlings that after this review I might be banned from all Broadway theaters, because how do I dare to say anything bad about rich people’s entertainment and even more, about white rich people’s entertainment, which only they are entitled to enjoy. You know what, my darlings, there is nothing for me to lose. I am going to sacrifice myself for the humanity. See how selfless and heroic Serge Plastikoff is? You haven’t heard from him for such a long time and now he is ready to put his well white being on the chopping block for you. You might want to ask me, what was happening with you our dearest SirGay? Why weren’t you sharing your wisdom with us for such a long time? Darlings, I was on a break, on a break from all these things that matter to you. I went to Broadway to find that it is so broad, this so called Broadway, that there is no place for anybody who is not rich there.

I feel like I need to put some lemon juice on my balls and spray it with pepper spray now. But talking about spraying my (edited)… so tha-dha for tonight. There is nothing else I want to tell you today.

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Re-Views, Unsolicited Solicitations

How “A Streetcar Named Desire” Took “Blue Jasmine” to the Oscars

I know, I know my darlings, you might get quite bored with me constantly talking about Tennessee Williams and Cate Blanchett, I know, but you know what they say, keep repeating that one thing and you will become a master at it. And darlings, who wouldn’t want to write plays like Tennessee and act like Cate, who? So here comes my next rant which involves another colleague of mine, my dear Woody Allen.

I have had quite a few woodies in my life and there might be some Allens involved with them, but this entry is not about them, even though I wish it would be, because that might have given me a happy ending, but I digress, no really, I do digress not having a happy ending for this entry.

During my breakfast break suddenly I… Well this has happened not so “suddenly” but the use of word “suddenly” reminded me about some writer I read recently who suggested that good writers should remove “suddenly” from all of their writings. His suggestion sounded quite strange because, first of all, who said that I want to be a good writer (this one I believe is a lie) and second of all, just imagine Tennessee Williams, yes, Tennessee Williams himself, removing “suddenly” from the name of his play “Suddenly Last Summer.” It would leave us only with “Last Summer” which would be just sad, because “suddenly” gives that needed kick in the balls and defines the pain which happened that last summer. This entry is not about “Suddenly” and not about “Last Summer” but it has something to do with removing some things and loosing the others because of that change.

While eating my breakfast I was arranging another “Temperamental “T” Battle.” Somewhere in between devouring a leaky egg yolk and a large piece of salt crystal I realized that I have way too much to say about Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” alone. Before I ate that egg I thought that I would compare two films, a great classic “A Streetcar Named Desire” and a new Oscar nominee “Blue Jasmine,” but, after finishing that poor egg I realized that that battle was won way before it even started. Who can compete with Tennessee Williams’ written characters, who? He is one of the best when it comes to it. When somebody wants to rewrite a gorgeous play written by him, it better be good, because whoever attempts to do so unsuccessfully might get a taste of Plastikoff’s testicles on their face. Your big movie name won’t help to avoid this from happening. You should be already aware that Plastikoff knows more than you do, so you must listen to him, otherwise you might get that uneaten egg yolk thrown at you and later smeared on your face by his, above mentioned, testicles. This time Woody Allen is under my radar or, should I say, under my hanging bangers. It is going to be hard (pun intended) to be Woody.

I love you Woody, I truly do. And how could I not love a director and writer who gave me one of my favorite comedy films “Bullets Over Broadway,” how? This will be tough for me to write, because you, my dear Woody, showed me with your “Bullets…” that you know and love theater very much.

The Oscars are literally a few hours away. This year’s nominations are quite forgettable. I don’t think any of the films which are nominated this year will be remembered after thirty years, but since I, ze Plastikoff himself, am living today, I thought I would give another piece of my mind (god, I am so generous, giving my brains and stuff away to ze people) and write another review of a film that has something to do with the Awards. If you haven’t read my take on “her,” you can read it here. This time I am going to go for “Blue Jasmine.”

It’s not a secret anymore that the film industry is going down the drain. There is almost nothing exciting coming out in the past few years and it’s getting worse. When movie theaters are concentrating more on the sale of popcorn and soda, you know you are popped.

This blentry (no, this is not a misspelled word, no, if you know a little Russian you know what “blet” means) is a character and play study where I discuss good versus bad adaptations of very known plays. I am going to concentrate my brain cells that are still left in my head on “A Streetcar Named Desire” and what happened to it when Woody Allen rewrote it into “Blue Jasmine.”

First of all one must be blind not to see that “Blue Jasmine” is “A Streetcar Named Desire.” It is and it is all the things it should not be.

I was quite shocked and taken aback by the fact that there was no mentioning of Tennessee Williams in any way in the credits of “Blue Jasmine.” What I saw was that this script was “originally” written by Woody Allen.

Oy Woody, Woody, yes, of course you gave your own twist to my bellowed play, but to be so blunt and not even say that your script was at least somehow inspired by “…Desire” was a sneaky way to go. You are definitely not winning any points from me on that. Thinking that putting Blanche (Jasmine in your film) in today’s environment would distract me from recognizing the play is a huge miscalculation.

First of all putting a play or adapting a play for today’s environment is nothing new, you know that, Woody. Almost every play has gotten that treatment in theater. Directors take old plays and adapt them constantly. Theater directors (usually) acknowledge original writers leaving their names in credits even though there might be nothing “original” left in their productions.

I recognized that Stella’s home from “A Streetcar Named Desire” is Jasmine sister’s home in San Francisco in your film, my dear Woody. Jasmine from “Blue Jasmine” is broke as it is the original Blanche from “A Streetcar…” when she comes to live with her sister. My dear Woody, you haven’t even escaped saying that Jasmine has a French background, and oh yeah, you think I would not catch where Jasmine’s name originated from? Blanche in “…Desire” mentions her perfume “Jasmine” which is hated by Stanley Kowalski. Is this where the name Jasmine came from in your film? There are many recognizable details as this in your film, Woody, but let me dissect first how “A Streetcar Named Desire’s” characters became “Blue Jasmine’s” characters.

As you know, my dear darlings, I love the fact that I find certain things hidden in films. If you read this review, you know what I am talking about. So here it goes, characters from “Blue Jasmine” and which characters from “A Streetcar Named Desire” I think “inspired” them:

Jasmine is Blanche DuBois
Ginger is Stella
Chili, Augie and Dr. Flicker are Stanley Kowalski
Dwight is Mitch
Hal, Jasmine’s husband, is the boy who killed himself in “…Desire”

I am going to start from Stanley Kowalski. Stanley was broken into three characters in “Blue Jasmine.” This was a very poor decision from you my dear Woody. And this is why.

You lost all the drama that surrounded Blanche by breaking the events and characteristics of Kowalski. All of these men in “Blue Jasmine” became very plain and didn’t contribute to Jasmine’s mind f*ck as Kowalski did in “…Desire.” What was this mess that represented Stanley in your film, Mr. Allen? You flattened Stanley from ”…Desire” so much that I was just plain sorry for the guys who were playing representations of what was once the greatest character in the history of theater.

Augie, played by Andrew Dice Clay, became Stanley whom Blanche met for the first time after arrival to her sister’s home in “A Streetcar…”
The sexy, full of passion and temperament Stanley from “…Desire” became Chili, played by Bobby Cannavale.
The “raping scene Stanley” became Dr. Flicker played by Michael Stuhlbarg.

The three characters created from one became disjointed and without depth. It was very disappointing to watch that happen.

In “A Streetcar…” Blanche’s character remembers a boy she fell in love with, who later on she realized was gay. In your version, Woody, this boy became Jasmine’s husband, Hal, played by Alec Baldwin, who cheated on her and killed himself in jail because of… well I didn’t quite get why did Jasmine’s husband killed himself in jail.

The boy from “…Desire” killed himself because he was a homosexual. Blanche revealed that secret. Jasmine’s husband, on the other hand, killed himself because Jasmine called the FBI and told them about the shady business her husband had been doing. Jasmine was emotionally distressed after finding out about Hal’s cheating. Hal got jailed because of Jasmine. I am not going to tell you in every detail how that happened but if you know “A Streetcar…,” Jasmine as well as Blanche had something to do with the suicides of their husbands.

While I totally understood Blanche’s boy’s suicide, I was not buying Jasmine’s husband’s suicide at all. The story leading to the event was flat and just too weak to be convincing. The way you wrote Hal’s character, my dear Woody, gave me an opposite impression. I couldn’t believe that a man like Hal was able to kill himself this easily.

I understand that you, my dear, wanted to portray these rich, lying people in your “Blue Jasmine,” but you failed it. You rewrote the sensitive boy’s character from “A Streetcar…” who represented Blanche’s feelings into this manipulative, cheating husband of Jasmine’s. Of course I could find some kind of connection there and say that Jasmine’s husband Hal represented Jasmine’s wish to live richly without doing any work to earn any money. That is true, that could be your idea of why Jasmine had her nervous breakdown. But with the decision of writing Hal the way you did you completely removed Jasmine’s fragility. Later on you went to explore that quality of Jasmine’s in other scenes of your film where she’s meeting Dwight, but it was too late.  You already made a cold Jasmine. You removed from her the greatest value, her fragility which was so beautifully developed by Tennessee Williams in Blanche.

My writing of this review is as messy as your film my darling Woody. See what you have done to me?

Yes, you tried to return to the original Blanche with your Jasmine being dependent on rich men. I was waiting for “I depend on the kindness of strangers” come out of Jasmine’s lips the whole film but it never happened. This beautiful quote turned into some mumbling jumble coming out of Jasmine’s lips at the end of the film which was just plainly very disappointing to me. I wanted to kick you in the balls my dear Woody. You had Cate Blanchett saying those meaningless words at the end of your film which actually hurt Cate’s as an actress’ image. She was put in a situation where she was asked to do a very cliché thing, talk into nothing with her lips slightly shivering and leaking through her eye sockets, what appeared to be some kind of liquid called tears. I found myself concentrating on Cate Blanchett’s face without make up rather than “feeling” what she was going through in that particular scene.

Funny, how you, my dear, were not able to escape shower scenes in your film. The shower scenes in “…Desire” were essential. After every one of them something happened to Blanche. Not so much happened to Jasmine in your film, my dear Woody. In “A Streetcar…” Blanche wanted to wash off something that could not be washed off. What you washed off in “Blue Jasmine,” my dear, was Cate Blanchett’s make up and that was it. Yes, with that you revealed how old Jasmine is, but it added almost nothing to the character. Cate Blanchett went quite disheveled and with the runny make up throughout the whole film. You decided to “add” to Blanche’s from “…Desire” character, an oily skin shine and sweaty armpits. This was strange to see happening knowing that the action takes place in San Francisco where the weather is cool. New Orleans’ weather is thick with sweaty armpits and oily skin. That is more appropriate for Tennessee Williams’ play, but I guess you can sweat in any weather if you drink this much alcohol as Jasmine did in your film.

The difference with Stella, Ginger in “Blue Jasmine,” is less obvious. In “Blue Jasmine” Ginger has two children while in “A Streetcar…” Stella is pregnant with her first one. Ginger’s character in “Blue Jasmine” got Blanche’s sexual freedom. Jasmine’s character became even flatter because having Ginger this sexually active removed another great layer beautifully written by Tennessee Williams for Blanche.

Jasmine’s sister, Ginger, goes around sleeping with men. She divorced her first husband for no apparent reason. There was not even a hint why she did it. Then she almost ditched a better looking and more passionate boyfriend/fiancé after she met a balding man, Al, played by Louis C.K., at a party. Ginger’s new interest was apparently cheating with her on his wife. After a phone call to Al’s house and talking with his wife, Ginger, almost instantly, dropped the passionate love for Al and returned to her hot fiancé Chili as if nothing has happened. Ginger switched back to the hotty in literally a second after she learned about Al’s wife. Ugh.

And what was that mess of a scene with Jasmine and Dr. Flicker when he was sexually abusing her in the office? I went, what the duck just happened? This came from nowhere and was so painful to watch that I lost it. This scene was so fake that I think I believed more in drag queen’s fake boobs than Dr. Flicker’s arousal towards Jasmine in that scene.

I am going to end my rant with another quite strange detail about “Blue Jasmine.” The young salesman who came by Stella’s house in “A Streetcar…” and met Blanche there became Jasmine’s son. Weird decision I’d say. With that you, my dear Woody, stripped away from Jasmine her sexual gravitation to younger men which was so crucial in Tennessee Williams’ play. With that you not only said that Jasmine is not sexually attractive, because she has a son, but you also didn’t even suggest that Jasmine could like any of her sister’s lovers.

And here comes the ending punch. The way the character of Mitch from “A Streetcar…” was written in “Blue Jasmine” was so outlandish that you, my dear Woody, didn’t know yourself what to do with him. Dwight, played by Peter Sarsgaard, appears from nowhere like a rich prince on a white horse. He almost instantly proposed to Jasmine, then he dropped her as a plastic bottle in the middle of nowhere after learning that Jasmine was divorced and had a child. It was quite convenient, I should say, to be dropped next to a place where Jasmine’s estranged son was working. Okay, I think I got it, this scene was needed because it was vital for Cate to get a little of California’s sun on her pale skin while walking those few frames, I got it.

The decision for Jasmine and Dwight to get married and break up came so forced and fast in “Blue Jasmine” that one could miss it. Turn your attention for a few moments from the screen and you won’t even know that the proposal even happened.

The dialog between characters were flat and choppy. I was constantly hearing Woody Allen’s voice which was weird because Jasmine is hardly Woody (pun intended). It was painful to listen.

After writing all of this long ass wordy diarrhea I came to a realization that you, my dear Woody, most likely decided to play a game with us. You took “A Streetcar Named Desire” written by Tennessee Williams and decided to rewrite it creating opposite characters to those written by Tennessee Williams. Hmmm, I think you didn’t have enough Port to do that my dear Woody. But I guess it worked out somehow for you, because you got quite a few nominations for the film.

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Re-Views

“her” or a Hipster Love Story without Scarlett Johansson’s English Muffins

Okay my dear darlings, Plastikoff is in a rear mood today, thaz right he is rearing his rear into direction which, maybe, is rather to avoid, but… he wouldn’t be Russian if he would avoid naming things the way they really are. Yes, thaz right, Plastikof is going to give you a piece of his mind or, should I say, a piece of his ass (smiley face).

As always as it happens, the best thoughts come to me when I least expect them, so, I was having sex last night in the City and caught myself thinking about “her.” Yeah, I know it’s a little confusing: sex, “her.” Was there somebody else I was envisioning while deep breathing with the person I was with?

I know, I know, you still don’t know a lot about Plastikoff but bear with him, it is going to get more confusing hence of his drinking, but, if not of that drinking, he would not be able to say things he wants to say to you. (Somehow it is so freeing to speak about myself in third person. You should try that too.)

So, alright, I was watching this film by Spike Jonze the other night in a movie theater on 14th street in Manhattan and got completely freaked out, like “The Blair Which Project” freaked out and, if you know me, you know that I don’t freak out easily. This film made me feel like I wanted to crawl under my seat, hug my Teddy bear and call for my daddy while sucking somebody’s toe. Yeah, a big hairy daddy with big toes would have been perfect, but hence I was surrounded by hipsters in love or at least that’s what they made me to believe, I felt like my life was going to end there and then. Brrrrr… That was not a happy thought, my darlings, not a happy thought.

Apparently, while contemplating about my big daddy’s toe, I have hit somebody’s chair, by accident, mind you, a couple of times. Well, I was putting my coat on the floor for my future fetal position, just in case I felt like it’s time for me to crawl and emergency hide under it. What came at me next was a true nightmare. I was “nicely” asked to cut it of, because…

Oh whatever, this self absorbed bitch, yes, thaz right, I said it, “a-self-absorbed-bitch-who-believed-that-with-her-ticked-she-bought-the-whole-freaking-theater” let me know that she doesn’t appreciate my being behind her and since I, by accident, mind you again, hit her chair a few times, she threw at me this “die-right-now-you-who-is-not-from-Williamsburg” look and went back to her “casual” talk with her friend via texting on her phone.

Suddenly I, ze Plastikoff himself, realized that this bitch was pretending to like this film about people falling in love with computers. How can it possibly be that this freshly-backed-in-the-nuclear-waste-of-Williamsburg, a transplant from some land of ze US I don’t know about was not paying attention to the love story of a man with a high waist crotch, how?

Thankfully I was hearing that raspy Scarlett Johansson’s voice which made me loose my gay cool and scream at the screen like some kind of drunken affectionado who just finished counting his “organic” chicken on a rooftop somewhere in Rooklyn. (I think I was going for something in Spanish there, but what came out of me was a mix of undefined street slang that is only known to me: “oh betch, you better work that script, nominated for an Ascar. Ah-hummm thaz right, we know iz you, you sexy beast. Show us your titties. Talk to me as if your humangas want to have that sweet love of mine.” (I have no idea where that came from and why I decided to keep this wordy diarrhea here.) I was not sure if I was surrounded by the right crowd for this type of appreciation of actress’s work, so I screamed inside of me, mind you. I felt that the bitch in front of me was watching every move of mine. I was ready to get to my fetal position under my coat on the floor anytime now.

Because of this pressure from the one in front of me I started looking for a reason, any reason for that mater, why I was there and what the duck was going on on the screen. Not finding any answer to my why the theater was full of hipsters and why there were no Scarlett boobs (pun intended) shown on the screen I realized that it must be raining in Alaska. I had to put myself together and give all my concentration to the film.

What was the point behind all those long talky-shmalky scenes without Scarlett’s boobs, I asked myself? I lost my gay-three-snaps-and-a-twirl, let me tell ya. There wasn’t even a little glimpse of any boob in the film, for that matter, as I remember, or was there? I guess I was too involved with thinking about that daddy’s toe which would have saved me from the movie theater full of hipster love. Oh God, I am getting tense only by thinking about the situation I was in. Let me have a sip of whatever is next to me in my glass right now. I think I got carried away a little with all that talk about boobs.

So, as you see, I was having a “fantastic hipster” time until… No, no, I am not kidding, I did “try” to have a great time, but for some reason my version of a great time had that spill-of-my-drink-on-that-bitch’s-head the whole freaking time I was listening to Johansson’s voice. This is what “romantic” comedies do to me. I want to (said in a soft voice) hurt people. They are just oh too happy and… bam, bam, bam… sorry, I got myself carried away by those “happy” thoughts of… well okay, we are here not to discuss what makes me happy, I am Russian, for God’s sake, tragedy is my comedy and horror is my life.

So alright, the film made me realize that I have become that mushy bearded hipster watching films about people doing nothing but playing computer games. Oh what a lovely notion to think that there is nothing more important than to talk to your computer and wear those pastel colors indicating that the people in the future are definitely not wearing make-up, because that would clash with those hipster Instagram filters used on the film itself.

I got hungry, let me tell ya. I thought about food while watching those oh so pale actors on the screen. Because of this pale sickness coming from the screen I realized that there are no dark skinned people in the future. Was there something in the food that made everyone so pale? Wait, and what exactly were they eating there? Well, I guess they were just popping those happy pills that make them full of… God, I needed a drink, but I had left my water bottle with two weeks long residue of alcohol at home thinking that… apparently I was not thinking, otherwise that bottle would have been with me the whole freaking time. Damn you overpriced movie theaters with soft drinks only! Even the effing drinks are soft there. Ugh!

So, alright, what is the point of this entry, you ask me? I used one thousand two hundred and sixty nine words here… Oh ef it, there is no point in it. “her” is a scary film about bullshit people who talk with computers instead of each other and … it has no boobs!

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Re-Views

Breaking Bad Re-View of a Mindful Masturbation

Okay My Dear Darlings, I told myself that I would not mention a glass of wine standing right in front of me while I write this, but who am I kidding, it’s Sunday night for God’s saké, everyone needs at least a glass (or two) of wine just before Monday’s madness begins and besides, I am going to talk about Breaking Bad today, so I need to get at least a little bit tipsy, otherwise how will I be able to explain the things I am going to discuss here later?

I know deep inside that this write up should be one of those entries where I actually talk about character development and s**t like that, but who knows, I might finish talking about dolphins? Why dolphins? Ask my shrink, he knows things about me I had no idea existed, but who am I kidding (“kidding” again?) my shrink is that glass of Port wine and it’s getting emptier as we speak (smiley face).

Without stating the obvious, which I state, the obvious: the series are very smartly written. I like when my brain is slightly titillated by what I see on the screen. Somebody smart has said in some smart book somewhere that thinking is more powerful than an actual physical act of sex. I don’t know by whom and how that was discovered, but one thing I want to say to this, I’ve been accused of too much thinking… Ha, I wanted to insert a smiley face here but suddenly realized that that might read a little strange for dolphins (ehem!).

There is no secret that my mind loves finding secret messages and meanings in almost anything. I can’t accuse it of having way too much… okay, okay I will not go there even though I want to oh so much… Call these entries my mindful masturbations (yes, I did say that, get over it and have a glass of wine).

Who would have guessed that I would be watching a TV series about a dying chemistry teacher who decided to cook meth till flipping over and saying “over?” I have “fond” feelings about my own chemistry teacher from high school (insert sarcasm here), but not the ones that I want to remember. But ask about those feelings later and I might tell you some stories. Let’s not get distracted by some other chemistry teachers when we have Walter White himself – our villain and a hero in disguise.

If you haven’t watched the series, I strongly recommend you do, because even Mr. Anthony Hopkins binge watched it and send a letter after he did it to Bryan Cranston congratulating him on the work he has done on the series.

I might be giving away some information and spoilers here, so read it with caution. This read though might be more enjoyable if you have already seen the series or at least have seen some of it, otherwise what’s the point of me talking about all these secret messages and meanings that I saw watching it? You know what? I will just assume that you have already seen Breaking Bad. So why do I spend so much time introducing shit I write about? (Drunken thought) Okay, I’ll have another glass of wine. Boom!

Yes, I devoted (this is not the word I wanted to use here, but I can’t think of another one at the moment) a lot of time to the series and I am glad I did. There are several reasons why I am glad about it. One – I want to consider myself a writer and this was a great study of a great writing. Two – I am also an actor/director (ha, thaz, right, I am) so character study is what drives me to do my mindful masturbations on stage, film and sometimes when I write (all of a sudden I fell like touching my nipples).

Okay, okay, I will stop with all this touchy-feely business and say that I will be concentrating (mostly) on Walter White’s character here. Oh, it is so much fun to think that you find and see things you think nobody else sees in the series till you point them out to those blind ones (ups, almost touched my nipples again), but I digress.

I just want to say it straight-forwardly or gay-forwardly or whatever-your-preference-forwardly is, Walter White’s character might seem like a good character gone bad, but reality is relative, or “is it so?” – Herr Heisenberg says and flips his hat. So –

Walter White

Walter White is a high school chemistry teacher who is affected by a cancer. Everyday life becomes his bodily illness. His days are running with no apparent change. He is a loving dad, or at least it seems so, but he is caught in a routine and does nothing to change it. His life and lives around him are gray and blunt. One day he gets news nobody wants to receive – he is terminally ill with a lung cancer. That news awakens that Walter he was a long time ago, full of energy and determination. He sets a plan of how to make enough money for his family to survive after he dies.

While driving around in his brother-in-law’s car Walter gets an idea about what could bring the needed money. Walter’s brother-in-law is a DEA officer who is closely involved in fighting meth business. Walter White doesn’t really know who uses meth and how it really works, but he sees it as an opportunity to earn some quick cash before he dies.

In every episode throughout the series there is something that changes Walter White. We might think that, oh my god, a good teacher is becoming this drug lord, or oh my god, he needs to be killed or at least to be stopped because look how many people are dying around him and he doesn’t even give a shit about it. Wow, wow, wow I would say, hold your horses and let’s see who Walter White “really” is and what he does.

Walter White cooks meth – meth is bad – he is destroying people’s lives, thus he has to be bad, right? Wrong! And this is why. Walter White from the very beginning of his meth cooking business establishes that he only cooks pure meth. What does it mean? Meth is meth? Well, my Dears, that means that whoever uses meth Walter White produces will get a pharmacy quality drug. You might say, who cares, they are drug addicts, and thus they should get what they ask for. And I would say, just look at your own medicine cabinet, you judgmental prick, and say that you are not a drug addict too. I am sure you have a plenty of pills there that make you feel good (smiley face?).

Walter White worries about a single fly in his lab while cooking his meth. Other meth cooks mix their meth with cat feces and what not. Why is it so Walter cares about the damn fly? The reappearing fly in the series has a certain meaning though. I am using the fly as an example here to prove my point how particular Walter White is about the purity of his, as he says, product. With Walter’s meth you at least will know that there was no cat piss added to the mix, so less blocked arteries and less of other infections to the users of the powerful drug. It’s almost as if you are buying another prescription drug with amphetamine in a drug store. If you would say that I am crazy talking about things like that, I would say, you are blind. Just because a prescription drug is called by some fancy name it doesn’t mean that it is less harmful to your body. And talking about the amphetamines, I was floored when I saw this advertisement on TV which straight forwardly was advertising a drug with amphetamine in even its name. Well, of course, it doesn’t matter that the advertised drug might be lethal to some people, but the point is that you will not have the AD whatever D anymore after using it. Well, of course, you will not have it anymore, because you will be dead. So there, are you ready to read the labels on drug bottles you have in your cabinets and see meth users as people like you? Bam!

Walter applies his scientific knowledge and cooks pure meth for meth addicts who always will be there in our society whatever you say. So at least they will be using his pure meth and will have more time to figure out how they are going to get clean when they are done with it. Well, maybe Walter White from Breaking Bad didn’t think much about the drug addicts who use his product, but I’d like to differ considering how he cares about Jesse, his business partner and a drug user.

And here is the point number two: “people are being killed because of Walter – this is bad, because nobody should be killed.” Well, I agree with the last part of the sentence, but let me dissect the first part first: “people are being killed because of Walter.” It almost sounds like Walter is killing a lot of people by himself, and maybe he is, but not the way we might think he is doing it. I am not going to tell you if Walter actually kills anybody in the series, but I would like to ask you this question first: who is Walter White killing, if he is killing and with what? He is a high school teacher, who doesn’t even know how to use a gun. How does he do it?

Walter applies his intelligence and “kills” people with their own “guns.” He gets inside of the biggest drug cartel, where every DEA wants to be, and kills each and every one there single handedly. He removes these people from the streets. He goes for the core. He goes for the nucleus of meth business and destroys it. Bam! You can thank him later.

Walter uses Heisenberg’s name. Why? Werner Heisenberg was a physicist who dealt with nucleus power during WWII and was writing papers on uncertainty principle and relativity. While Werner Heisenberg was demonized as well as Walter White is during the series, he got his Nobel Prize for his science works. It is all relative how we use our knowledge and power. One sees a nucleus as a nucleus bomb that could wipe all the humanity of the Earth. Other sees nucleus as the power that could power up the entire world. So saying that Walter White kills people is relative. He destroys the drug cartel becoming one of them. He infects it with his being. He “kills” each and every one of them as a cancer kills a human body.

But how about these kids who die because of him, you ask? Well, here we come to another great discovery; none of them were killed by Walter White. They were killed by other people who instead of thinking, act first. Look at the nature around you. Not everything has a logical explanation here. Nature has some random things happening all the time. Illogical and unexplained things exist. Every scientist expects something unexpected to happen when they experiment with something. Some deaths happen in the series. Walter cannot predict how one or another experiment of his will end. He can only prepare it for the happening and then wait. Walter knows that these random, illogical things happen, because he is a scientist. That is why it might seem that he is heartless when he melts bodies of victims that others kill in the series. He is doing it because there was a failure. He didn’t want it to happen, but it happen.

Walter and his cancer

Okay now, let’s go to a very important and probably the most important thing of the series – Walter’s cancer.

Walter finds out about the cancer after he fails one of his students on chemistry. The student wanted to get an easy grade, but Walter does nothing to at least change the student’s perception about studying and importance of being educated. He seems completely absent from his and other people’s lives. Walter becomes the cancer.

Walter, after finding out about his cancer, decides to cook meth. He becomes a cancerous cell in a “healthy” body of drug business where everything seems to be working just fine.

Like a cancer cell finds a way to get into our bodies, Walter “finds his way” to the body of a drug cartel. He begins to grow there as oh so powerful and deadly tumor. Walter is able to get to the core and destroy the cartel the way chemotherapy destroys his cancer.

Walter’s cancer almost completely disappears after the whole cartel is gone and everyone is killed. The surgery on his lungs in one of the episodes is used to depict and define for us what we should expect later to happen with the cartel. Somebody is going to be cut out from the drug business the way the effected piece of his lung is cut out from his body.

Science and Humanities

At the end of the episode 8 of season 5 we are left with Hank discovering Walt Whitman’s book “Leaves of Grass.” It’s a perfect hint for us to realize that Walter might be hit from unexpected source, his humanity, where logic and science don’t apply. There is much to say about Walter and Jesse’s relationship in the series. Walter is science, Jesse is humanities. They are business partners. Who and what wins is for you to find out, because I am just too sleepy to finish this entry now.

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